Tag Archives: illustration

Artist Focus: Interview with John Felix Arnold III

Portrait by Eric Palozzolo from Past From the Blast @ Kitsch Gallery

“Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity.” – Charles Mingus

Interview with artist John Felix Arnold III

Rae: Now let’s begin with the interview, nice to have you with us today….Tell me about your work? What does it symbolize for you personally?

John Felix: Man, that’s a very complex question. My work keeps me alive on a lot of levels, that’s the root of it.

Without creating things I would probably spontaneously combust or wither away into nothingness so therefore it represents life to me. It keeps me moving forward and allows me the opportunity to bring something I deem to be positive to the world.

Art has always come naturally to me. Speaking and asking questions through visualization is something that happens through me. I find joy in its creation and those that search to be around art. When I am really involved, it’s almost as if I am not the sole energy making it, but I am more of a conduit for something much larger than myself aiding me in making a contribution to the future. I could go on and on about my influences, inspiration, conceptual framework, technique, evolution, and what not.

But what I am explaining here, while it may come off as sounding vague, is the spiritual essence of why I do this. It represents a spiritual connectivity.

To me what I make represents my personal dialogue with the world. It demonstrates gratitude for the life I have through pain and pleasure, through the mundane and the monumental. On a basic level, I am creating exhibitions that aim to make the viewer feel as though they are walking into a life size graphic novel set in a post-apocalyptic future world. This being said, anyone who has ever read, Blade of the Immortal, Akira, Sandman, Elektra Assassin, or any graphic novel knows that works in print like these are created out of a need to understand our place in the bigger picture.

Capriquarius 5'x4' Mixed Media on Wood Panel

Rae: Looks like you are an artist of all trades…what is your most favorite medium at the moment right now?

John Felix: The medium I am having the most fun with right now, aside from the conceptual nature is basically mixing all of the disciplines I enjoy into one explosive element. It is definitely the construction of the large panels I am using for my paintings as of late.

My favorite part right now of the process is taking all of the found wood and then organizing it and setting it piece by piece into these beautiful, rectangular, debris, and tapestries. They are like these amazing organic real life 3-D design pieces that hold years of stories and experiences in every single piece of found material. Creating these as a vehicle to begin painting with, is really an awesome experience.

Event Elation 4'x8' Mixed Media on Wood Panel

Rae: What role would you say an artist has in society?

John Felix: That’s a great question, one which I don’t think enough people really give a lot of thought to, I mean people call Drake an artist right? (laughter) To me an artist’s role in society is to inspire dialogue, pose questions, and be fearless in developing their voice as a part of, and as an observer of society.

                                                                                                                

An artist’s role is to be an intense and integral member of society while at the same time having the ability to look at it from outside and comment on it so as to inspire dialogue within it, that hopefully aims to advance it in a positive light.

Artists are like chefs, we stir a bunch of things up and then serve it to the people to give them something to sustain a part of themselves, to think about, and evoke emotions and reactions.

Rae: I certainly agree with that! How has your practice changed over time?

John Felix: I recently found drawings I did as an infant, before I had any concept of survival in the face of societies expectations, fitting in, before I had any idea that so much of our world is run off of fear, status, image, and the cult of personality. The drawings were fun, fearless, and beautiful. For years I concentrated so hard on technique and developing an acceptable style and coping with a world that I felt alienated from, that I felt like I lost pieces of myself and wasn’t really living.

Now my practice really lies in reaching back into this childhood fearlessness within concepts that I confront as an adult armed with an arsenal of techniques, discipline, and design knowledge that informs a very organic style that is now evolving all on its own accord. After a very crazy life thus far, I get to appreciate years of really rigorous technical practice (that kept me focused in some dark moments) which have become a perfect companion for the free flowing energy that I now get to experience when I’m making art.

Lady of the Lake 5'x4' Mixed Media on Wood Panel

Rae: What themes do you pursue within your artwork?

John Felix: The main theme I am pursuing at present is exploring an idea of what people and certain archetypes will be and do in the face of an inevitable reset of human society.

I guess it really boils down to examining the rate at which we as a society are consuming limited resources around us. Creating multitudes of things which we really do not need, which in turn consume us spiritually, physically, emotionally, pretty much across the board, to perpetuate a system which turns the great majority its members into “self-sacrificing parasites.” 

Christopher Burch, whom I am showing with in New York in March, gets the credit for that term. It happens to fit the work I am doing as well as his and many others at the moment. Other themes examined in my work as well are: lose of control, creating things which consume us, spirituality or lack there of within society, love, what it means to be strong, how to move forward into the future, shelter, how things that are deemed “necessary for survival” will change once the world as we know it now ceases to be, you know light hearted stuff (laughter again).

Rae: Any books that inspire you at the moment, if any?

John Felix: Actually yes. Mirrors, by Eduardo Galeano, is really inspiring at the moment. It is a large companion of short paragraph pieces dealing with historical figures and questions throughout the history of civilization, which have shaped the world as we know it, and aims to get the viewer to really question their own intentions so as to gain some sort of insight into a positive way to move ahead.

Rae: Wow, I’ve got to look into that book, sounds fascinating! What do you love most about being an artist based in the bay area?

John Felix: People in the bay area simply love art, enjoy art, and support art in a variety of ways. The Bay Area is currently a great pool of creativity and freedom of expression for obvious historical reasons and thanks to an amazing history of forerunners. Where else can you run into Emory Douglas, Barry McGee, and Monica Canilao all in the same day.

The Bay is one of the most diverse parts of the world in terms of race, culture, spiritual practice, sexuality, academia, philosophy, technology, politics, and of course the arts.

It is the home of two of the oldest and most important art institutions I know of, SFAI and CCA. It has been called the birthplace of lowbrow art, has an amazing graffiti history, lots of pride behind its local art makers and movements. There are wildly different art movements happening right here right now in the Mission, the Tenderloin, and the greater Oakland area. I love the art community here and the commitment that so many artists have to continually challenge themselves and those around them.

Rae: Having studied at two different art schools in your lifetime? What attracted you most about the programs?

John Felix:Pratt is an oasis of imagination, incredible technical instruction, historical accomplishments in the arts, rigorous training, and amazing professors in one of the most amazing and craziest fucking parts of the world.

It is a home to a variety of disciplines. Something about having alot of disciplines, enabled us to engage one another on a daily basis. We dealt with professors that hold no punches and are not afraid to rip you a new one, if you don’t demonstrate that which is necessary to make it, this creates a great atmosphere.

The program I was in was just designed extremely well, and I benefited more than I could have asked for from it. It prepared me for things to come. We had a pretty epic class, in my department while I was there. Also they gave me more money than any other NYC school to make my home there.

SFAI’s prestige in the arts community, the fact that I won a pretty large scholarship, their history and print making facilities were pretty attractive. SF seemed like a great choice, and working w/ Tim Berry in the Print Making Department was a big pull! After a year though I really didn’t feel that it was the right place for me to be at, so I dropped out and saved myself from going pretty deeply into debt. I might move back to Brooklyn someday, we’ll see.

Rae: Any upcoming projects you’ve been working on at the moment? Could you talk about what you are trying to achieve with them?

John Felix: I have “The Love of All Above” Saturday February 4th at Queens Nails Projects in San Francisco. It is a continuation of my series of installation environmental pieces that act as an altar and a place to give praise as well as a stage and a vehicle for performers to engage the audience.

A Conversation with Charles Mingus About the Inevitable End of the World 8'x3' Mixed Media on Wood Panel Assemblage

A Conversation with Coltrane About the State of Spirituality 8'x3' Mixed Media on Wood Panel Assemblage

I am working musical performers Cassettes Won’t Listen, Bisco Smith, Grimace and Turnbull Green all from the Daylight Curfew Crew. Also performing will be Kool Kid Kreyola and a husband and wife duo called Him Downstairs. I am trying to create an installation environment that exist in the world of “Unstoppable Tomorrow”.

I want people to feel like they are part of a night of rituals and ceremony through art and music inside of this post apocalyptic setting that hopefully takes them out of their normal daily humdrum.

I want to create an environment where I can not only exhibit my new installation and painting work within the installation setting, but also engage performers to work within it, and collaborate with the environment.This I hope, will make the audience feel more part of the piece and the imaginary of all these concepts, disciplines, and personalities.

Then Christopher Burch and I are off to Brooklyn, NY for our March 1rst opening at an amazing space called Littlefield NYC, which will consist of drawings exploring this idea of societies “self sacrificing parasites”. Ninjasonik and Ken South Rock will also be performing at the opening of that show. Then it’s a solo show at Old Crow in Oakland in July. I am incredibly excited about this due to the fact that I get the whole space to explore by myself! Then back to Japan, to go on tour and do live painting with the band Ken South Rock. Pretty busy.

Rae: Any other artists you would love to collaborate with in the future?

John Felix: David Ellis, Tomokazu Matsuyama, Katsuhiro Otomo, and I wish I could go back in time and work with Hokusai and Yoshitoshi!

Rae: Any amazing galleries you love in the bay area?

John Felix: I was part of the Luggage Store’s “In the Moment” group exhibition this past November. I love and have loved the Luggage Store since I first found out about it when I moved here in 2006. There are a lot of amazing galleries here, they all seem to have their own distinctive voice and place and there are a handful I would like to work with for specific projects. I definitely have to say that my favorite gallery to work with thus far, who has also really been a pleasure to build with and evolve with is Old Crow in Oakland.

Rae: Music or bands inspiring you right now. Go.

John Felix: These cats Main Atrakionz out of Oakland are sick. I know everyone is saying Odd Future these days. Dipset all day. I just found the J Dilla Rough Drafts cd at Amoeba for like 10 bucks, that is a really sick one. The Ghost in the Shell soundtrack, Stand Alone Complex. The Akira Soundtrack. Japanther and Ninjasonik no doubt. Daylight Curfew, Kool Kid Kreyola, been listening to some Indonesian Rhythmic Recordings lately. Japanese Koto Drums all day. Always have my early nineties Hip Hop that I grew up with on speed dial. Rediscovered some At the Drive In recently. Been listening to Charles Mingus and Coltrane a lot.

Rae: More inspiration… more! What was your most inspiring moment as an artist so far?

John Felix: Definitely having “Past from the Blast” at Kitsch in the Mission last March (2011) with Japanther finally happened. In the middle of the show I looked out into the crowd and the world went into slow motion for me as I saw over 200 kids going absolutely ape shit inside of my art installation while Japanther rocked out on an altar platform/stage that was the focal point of the installation I built for the show. That was rad! They were rocking the universe inside of my artwork man.

Rae: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

John Felix:

Don’t overdo it man. You don’t have to feel like you have to carry the world on your shoulders. Do what you can because that shit will kill you and you won’t be any good to anybody.

Rae: Thank you John Felix Arnold III! Your future art shows are a must-check- out!!!!

Shouts TWNY, 57, IPD, 138, Dirty Durham, Old Crow, Big Sheikh Deluxe, Faetm, Brooklyn, The Elite

Links to check out this artist: artist website, wordpress blog, tumblr site, facebook, Daylight Curfew Creative Collection, Art Now SF

Interview with Featured Artist: Ivan Bridges

“I just had the most beautiful dream; I was out there, over the Grand Canyon, in the sky. Out there in the universe. Dark, but there were stars. It was like we were in bed at night, talking in the dark. But somehow above the world as well, in the dark. We laid down, the two of us, on what felt like the sky and went to sleep. On a clear surface that was totally invisible. In the dream, I also met an older lady and I threw up a little bit inside her mouth, like a bird, and she liked it. A video camera is what I saw at the end of my dream.” – Ivan

Rae: Tell me about your artwork, what does it represent for you personally?

Ivan: I really identify with Duchamp when he says that all of art making is an urge, and the thing that just can’t be explained any more than that. I do see it fundamentally as an urge, so personally it represents to me some type of obsessive urge, maybe destructive? Maybe not. It’s hard to tell, you know, but I’ve never been able to quit so much, so it seems to put it in it’s place as an urge.

Rae: Can you recall a memory of when you first started making art? How did you start being serious about it?

Ivan: I’ve always been interested in drawing. I remember one of my teachers in elementary school saying to me that she hoped I’d never stop drawing. I wrote a poem too when I was very young and it was being read in the auditorium of the school during some kind of rally. I don’t remember much about it, but they picked my poem somehow. I remembered being both embarrassed and also deeply connected to that moment of hearing it spoken.

Rae: What do you love most about being an artist living in San Francisco?

Ivan: I love walking around at night thinking to myself as I look up at all the lights on inside the rooms I pass, maybe south of market or on Polk street, thinking to myself as I see the high ceilings and shadows cast what possibilities all these spaces have. I keep imagining different lives I’d live in each one of these open windows I pass in China town, the clothes hanging out the window, I imagine a room with a subject, a painting, a camera, a typewriter, I see it all.

Rae: Which cities have you lived in? Traveled to?

Ivan: I’ve lived in London, I grew up in New Orleans, I have a second life in Costa Rica with my father. I’ve seen Rome, Florence, Madrid, and spent a week inside an old convent with my cousin in Siena.

Rae: Having been in class with you at SFAI, I know that you grew up in New Orleans. How do you think living there had influenced you in your art making?

Ivan: New Orleans is a dark place. And I remember I used to walk to school before the sun rose and then standing in that schoolyard looking at the large brick building I’d always hear these crows cawing. It’s also a religious place, that elementary school was named Holy Name of Jesus. Being originally born in Portland, Oregon and then transplanted to New Orleans at eight years old to live for the next ten years in this religious school system had a deep effect on me. I became obsessed in my own way with the symbolism of the church, only to find when as I got older that my own relationship to that symbolism was somehow not okay with the specific dogma of the church. I eventually broke with the identification as a Christian probably when I was eleven or twelve years old, but that experience has deeply shaped my inner life.

Rae: Studying at San Francisco Art Institute, who was an influential teacher of yours? What did he/she teach you most about?

Ivan: Rob Halpern, the class was called “The Dead and the Living, paranormal messages in literary texts,” and I’m pretty sure I’ve never been the same again. Well, English classes have had that effect on me and I just don’t see how engaging deeply with literature or theory could not affect ones life deeply. But to talk about a few of the things I learned, the notebook being a primitive technology is one, also that I can grieve while reading. I learned that with Primo Levy.

Rae: What about their program, attracted you to go to SFAI?

Ivan: The idea that you can’t teach art.

Rae: Has your style changed at all through the years?

Ivan: yes, sometimes it’s the limits or constraints that keep me changing. For example, I used to be very hung up on the idea that for me, painting or art making had to do with oil painting. And it was when I had the lucky opportunity to be invited into a shared studio situation that I was unable to paint in oil, the times I was allowed in were infrequent at best and the time in this studio was filled with my supposed partner talking to me more about the news than what would inspire me to paint. It’s one of those experiences that sounds amazing, beautiful studio great location, but there is a catch, all my oils are going to be locked up most of the time leaving me to have to find another outlet. It ended up that I started using watercolor, as a way to cope with this, and that became my primary medium, which I use today. I’m actually going through that same process right now where all my watercolor stuff is in another studio, this time it’s my own, and I’ve been thinking about writing instead! Maybe renting an art studio for me is a great way to discard a medium.

Rae: Speaking of motivation, is there anything or anyone that exceptionally inspires your artwork at the moment?

Ivan: Proust, and Georges Bataille, both of these writers exhibit a type of freedom in their prose, a pure unfolding deeply provocative material that dwells below the surface. I think, of the human experience. It’s given me a little bit of extra courage to move more deeply into my own hidden drives or fears about what might come up if I really push myself to show what I’m terrified to show in my art.

Rae: Any other artists you would love to collaborate with in the future?

Ivan: Sophie Calle, Nalini Malini

Rae: Describe your process for creating a new piece and what sorts of materials you prefer to use?

Ivan: I love to collage; I also like taking pictures, writing, video. It’s funny someone told me recently that the foe artists have a hand in everything, so I guess I’m not a real artist then.

Rae: Any amazing gallery that you love in the bay area?

Ivan: Honestly, I’m not too familiar with galleries in the Bay area, but I do love certain bookstores, the Green Apple is one, I think of it as a type of church. I also love Forest Books on 16th street; The Ocean is a great place to go as well on a foggy day or night.

Rae: When is your most creative….time of day?

Ivan: It’s either early in the morning or late at night, but I think creativity is such a mystery really. None of this stuff really makes any sense does it, but I do think it’s important to remember where you are when you get ideas. For me I walk late at night through soma or up Polk Street. I also have a couch in a room where stacks of books cover the walls; I lay there and think as well.

Rae: What inspires you to continue making art?

Ivan: I just can’t imagine not doing it. I would say that for me it’s a matter of psychological health.

Rae: Could you talk about your latest series of work and what you are trying to achieve with them?

Ivan: My latest project is a video; these are some of the initial ideas around it:

  • I wanted to crawl up into the smell in the hallway, it reminded me of the bath with Terri, I peed in it and she saw and asked me if I did, I said no. Millaudon Street New Orleans, I’m 17. I miss it, those mornings. But tonight is something new. I’ve painted. Terri is gone. She’s the one I can’t seem to get over. But they weren’t exactly days of roses and I feel the green sunlight of a photograph I know well, I don’t remember the day but the photograph for sure. I also remember that porch, waiting for the night to begin. At night we took drugs and in the day we waited. I lived for most of it like that but oh I never knew her all that well and besides she never even loved me. I’ve never known anyone all that well except for artists, ones who are dead who I can think about. This primitive notebook, I can feel it opening to me, take me in your arms. I want to give all of myself, good and bad.

Rae: Any good advice you want to give to other artists?

Ivan: Don’t give up. Unfortunately it may take people a long time to realize the value in what you are doing. You have to see it yourself, and you have that be the sole guide for why you continue.

Rae: What type of music or bands are you listening to right now while making your pieces?

Ivan: ????

Rae: Tell us about new upcoming projects, solo/group shows, or trips you are working on.

Ivan: I’m working on publishing a talk Marcel Duchamp gave in San Francisco in 1949; also I’m currently writing for video work.

Rae: Finally, what do you do for fun? How do you relax?

Ivan: I go somewhere once a week with myself, it’s my way of taking care of myself. Almost always, I try to avoid it but all of my best ideas have come on these excursions. The idea is to have a good time and not work when I’m out on these excursions, and also I can’t bring anyone with me, it’s like tagging along with you and your Dad’s new girlfriend. It’s a way to reconnect with what I enjoy.

Rae: Last one. Favorite quote?

Ivan: “Whatever you think you can do or believe you can do, begin it. Action has magic, grace, and power in it.” – Goethe

Rae: Thank you for the interview Ivan.

Here is Ivan’s performance video:


ivanbridges.com underconstruction…..e-mail at ivbridges@gmail.com for any inquiry at the moment

Ivan Bridges is an artist based in San Francisco, Ca.

Interview with Featured Artist: Fonda Yoshimoto

Fonda Yoshimoto is an artist based in Oakland, Ca.

“The quality that we call beauty….must always grow from the realities of life, and our ancestors, forced to live in dark rooms, presently came to discover beauty in shadows, ultimately to guide shadows towards beauty’s ends.“- Jun’ichiro Tanizaki (1977)

Title of your warehouse show: 10th Street Open Studios

Rae: Can you recall a memory of when you first started making art? How did you start being serious about it?

Fonda: The first memory I have of making is when I was around 4 years old. I made a small house-like structure. I remember carefully collecting spare wood from around the shack my family and I lived in. I knew what I wanted to make and struggled so much with fitting all of the disparate pieces together. I was fascinated by the whole process: the idea, the struggle, and the outcome. I started off like many children do with painting and drawing. My mother always encouraged me to create, although we did not have much money we were always able to find materials to make things with. I started really understanding how serious art is to me in college when I was around 20 years old. I took Art Studio and Art History courses in college and started to realize how powerful art can be, what an incredible form of communication it is. I was able to express my ideas and emotions through art in ways that I could not through words.

Rae: Which cities have you lived in?

Fonda: I have lived in over 30 houses in many different cities. Honolulu, HI; Laguna Beach, Santa Rosa, and Davis, CA; Providence, RI to name a few.

Rae: What do you love most about being an artist in Oakland?

Fonda: I love the range of different venues from professional galleries to coffee shops to improvised spaces. I love how accessible art is, especially with the Oakland Museum, First Fridays, and all of the murals and public art.

Rae: What inspires you to continue making art?

Fonda: Making is a way of thinking. I connect with materials and develop ideas through making. It is also something I share with my ancestors, who were all makers in their own way. They worked hard to support themselves and their families and engaged in art when they could, because the need to create is so strong. My mom once wrote to me, “I am excited for your ability to create and do what you love.” Her words inspire me to continue making art.

Rae: Any influential artist that you love and admire?

Fonda: Linda Sormin, Shannon Goff, Ambromovitch, and Eva Hesse.

Rae: When you were studying at UC Davis who was an influential teacher of yours? What did he/she teach you most about?

Fonda: Annabeth Rosen, Professor at UC Davis, was an incredible influence on me and my work. She really did teach me what hard work looks like. She is so dedicated to her work and to her students. She encourages her students to gain inspiration from their own lives, the environment around them, and to work beyond their comfort zone.

Rae: What impressed you most about the art department in UC Davis?

Fonda: The Art Department at UC Davis has incredible faculty who create a supportive yet rigorous environment. In terms of Ceramics, UC Davis is steeped in history. TB9, the ceramics building, has great facilities. We were encouraged to take advantage of the space, and size of the kilns, to make work ranging from small to large.

Rae: You also studied at RISD. How did studying there influence your art making now?

Fonda: At RISD one of the first questions I was asked is ,”why clay?” I started grad school with an interest in working with different materials, but while I was there I was able to learn how to work with wood, metal, textiles, as well as video, and drawing. When I felt like I needed to learn about a new medium or technique I was able to because I had access to classes, facilities, faculty, and other students. I keep that belief that you can learn just about anything with me, I am curious and want to continue learning forever. At RISD I was able to break my own boundaries of what I considered art, as well as what I considered I was capable of. My work expanded into the room or the environment it was in, I began making work that the viewer could see, walk around, and walk through. I am excited about making work that people can connect with visually and physically.

Rae: What is your most favorite medium to work with? Why?

Fonda: My favorite medium to work with is Ceramics, it has such a tactility and versatility. I love working with different types of clay, all having different qualities and personalities. Working with clay is mental, physical, emotional. I just feel really alive when I work with clay, the way the material responds to you, and demands time and attention.

Rae: Is there any artist you want to collaborate with in the future?

Fonda: My studio-mate from grad school, Sarah Gross, and I collaborated on curating a show at RISD. We are currently in discussion about collaborating again.

Rae: Any new upcoming projects you are working on?

Fonda: One of my pieces in the 10th Street Studios show is a knitted piece. I am really excited about the potential of drawing through knitting and am continuing to explore that. My goal is to use the knitted pieces to create a space that people could stand in, and walk through.

Rae: Please tell me about what your artwork, what does it represent for you personally?

Vein is a drawing on translucent rice paper. There are three layers so you can see into the drawing. I am interested in drawing in ways that are physically three-dimensional. The ink lines wind around the page, connecting and clustering in areas.

Fonda:
My work is intuitive and imaginative but is inspired by architecture, objects, and function. I have been exploring mark making and patterning through my work. Drawing with ink on paper and also three-dimensionally with ceramics and textiles. Ornamentation in my work is voracious, constricting and expanding, winding through space and on every surface. Ornamentation can express identity, can mark belonging to a time, space, era, tribe, region or home. The patterning takes over, I make marks out of need, a kind of anxious comfort. The space defines me, caught between creating pattern and scratching, wiping, willing it away. The mark making becomes a palimpsest, layers and layers of history, of motion, are visible. There is a psychological tension in this process, it also becomes a ritual. I see my work as somewhere between a dream and a nightmare, inside and outside, here and there, healthy and unhealthy,
engineered and makeshift, safe and dangerous, sheltering and eerie.


Rae: Describe your process for creating a new piece and what sorts of materials you prefer to use?

Fonda: I always start a new piece with a loose sketch or drawing based on an idea, feeling, pattern, or movement. I often start working directly with clay after that, I do not use many tools. When I am working larger I will sketch diagrams, make maquettes, or models. I will work back and forth from the individual components and the plan of how it will all come together. My favorite materials are paper, ink, clay, fabric, cotton cord, old scrap wood, copper wire, and, bricks.

Rae: Any amazing gallery that you love here in the bay area?

Fonda: I am still exploring the area and have a lot to see. I really do love going to the student galleries, especially at CCA. The shows rotate every week, there is an incredible amount of energy and ideas cycling around constantly.

Rae: When are you most creative……time of day?

Fonda: I am most creative in the evening and at night. I tend to do a lot of thinking and sketching during the day but most of the production happens at night.

Rae: Lastly, what type of music or bands are you listening to right now while making your pieces?

Fonda: I have been listening to a lot of Cibo Matto, Boards of Canada, and Major Laser.

Rae: Thank you for the interview Fonda!

Check out Fonda website at  http://fondayoshimoto.blogspot.com

Lei is made out of porcelain blossoms, strung with copper wire. The strands hang from the wall, casting shadows, making high pitched sounds as they are pushed together by the breeze.

Contemporary Textile Art + SF Street Fashion Blogs

Elaine Reichek

Elaine Reichek is a conceptual feminist artist who uses embroidery, fabric, and knits within her artwork. She was featured in the book, “Contemporary Textiles: The Fabric of Fine Art.” She received B.F.A. in Yale and B.A. in Brooklyn College. She is now currently a New York Based Artist.

I choose to feature her this week because I’ve always been inspired and by the topics she expresses through her pieces. And I’m attracted to it’s bright color and rich texture.  Reichek uses mixed media materials such as mesh, organdy in various shades, colored silk threads. She also touches on art history, representation of social contexts, and world culture.

Her famous work:

Native Intelligence 1987-1992 Series

This series represents knit replica’s of natives’ homes. Here, knitting is a metaphor. To knit is to integrate, to unify, to bond, draw together, and heal.

In the public mind, knitting is generally known as a hobby rather than industry. Integrating knitting into contemporary works of art dispels the image of an old woman making a scarf at home.

As an artist, you’ve got to experiment with all materials possible to creates an original piece of art. All her work is done with her hands. It’s raw yet detailed. And took so many hours to make!  Reicheck’s use of textiles, yarn, needlework,  and embroidery has a masculine edge. The beauty and power of feminist art is amplified by it. And our concept of textile art is elevated as well.

Tierra Del Fuegians 1986-1987 Series

Dwellings 1982- 1983 Series

photos courtesy of http://elainereichek.com/
Bonus:

SF Street Fashion

Cool Blogs To Check Out!

http://www.thesfstyle.com/

http://streetfancy.blogspot.com/

http://streetpeeper.com/cities/san-francisco?type=street_peep

~ Rae

Art, Fashion, Textile Design: Fashion Illustrators to Watch

Art, Fashion, Textile Design = collaboration + inspiration

Francois Berthoud- “Untitled (Nude on yellow background)” Oil on paper 1997                          photo courtesy of  http://www.fashionillustrationgallery.com/

Elements in Art, Fashion, Textile Design can all be intertwined. Various inspirations are delivered through intricate line drawings, bright colors, simple execution, and whimsical designs.  We also need to admit their existence in the art market. Fashion illustrations are hard to find sometimes. But when you do, they’re a treasure to hang. They are not usually bought and sold on the art market, but that is seeming to change lately.

Here are some fashion illustrators to check out: Francois Berthoud, David Downton, Richard Gray, Rene Gruau, Grayson Perry, and Hiroshi Tanabe.

-Rae

Richard Gray- "Boudicca Essays I" Pencil and coloured craft paper on paper June 2010 photo courtesy of www.fashionillustrationgallery.com/
Richard Gray- "Boudicca Essays 2" Pencil and coloured craft paper on paper June 2010 photo courtesy of www.fashionillustrationgallery.com/

Richard Gray- "Boudicca Essays 2" Pencil and coloured craft paper on paper June 2010 photo courtesy of http://www.fashionillustrationgallery.com/

Grayson Perry- "Dior" Collage 2005

Hiroshi Tanabe- "Irene Cocktail Suit (circa 1950 USA)" Print 2010 photo courtesy of http://www.fashionillustrationgallery.com/

Samantha Hahn- "Tangled" photo courtesy of http://samanthahahn.com/nggallery/page-11/image/51/page-3/